What's all this then?
FileCutter is a contextual menu plugin that improves on behavior already present in the Mac OS X Finder. In the last few versions of Mac OS X, Finder has provided the ability to copy and paste files (and folders) just like any other application does with its data. And it's very handy. But for reasons that only Apple knows, they've omitted two fairly obvious additions: The ability to cut files before pasting rather than merely copying them and the option of pasting an alias to the copied file rather than actually creating a duplicate file. FileCutter provides both of those functions.
Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) users: Please note that with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Apple has eliminated support for context menu plugins. The supported replacement mechanism - the improved Services subsystem - is unfortunately insufficient to let me recreate FileCutter’s behavior. Some users have reported that a freeware product called Shortcuts allows satisfactory access to FileCutter's functionality.
For a new installation, place the FileCutterCM.plugin file in either /Library/Contextual Menu Items or ~/Library/Contextual Menu Items (where ~ indicates your home directory). If the Contextual Menu Items folder doesn't exist you can create it.
If you're upgrading to a new version of FileCutter, it's a little more complex because of the way context menus work. First move the old version to the trash, and then run the included application to stop the background agent. Then move the new copy in and relaunch Finder (either by logging out and back in, or by choosing Relaunch in the menu that appears when you hold down Cmd-Option and click on Finder's dock icon) so it forgets about the old plugin.
FileCutter adds a new submenu to context menus for files and folders called FileCutter. You'll see some combination of Cut, Copy, Paste and Paste Alias commands depending on what you've selected before invoking the menu. The commands work as follows:
Cut - Stores references to the selected files and folders to FileCutter's clipboard, suitable for a subsequent paste. This will move the files from their original location to the new directory. Please note: Cut files will not immediately be removed from view like normal cut operations on Mac OS X. Consistent with the experience of most users who have used other systems that natively allow file cutting, no real change happens until the subsequent Paste.
Copy - Stores references to the selected files and folders to FileCutter's clipboard, suitable for a subsequent paste or paste alias.
Paste - Move or duplicate the items currently referenced in FileCutter's clipboard to the selected directory. This command will only appear after a cut/copy, and when the user has clicked on a Finder window background or a single folder.
Paste Securely - Move the items currently referenced in FileCutter's clipboard to the selected directory. Please note that this command is only available when items were cut, and when the target location is on a different volume than that currently containing the files.
Paste Alias - Create aliases in the selected directory pointing to all the items currently referenced in FileCutter's clipboard. This command will only appear after a cut/copy, and when the user has clicked on a Finder window background or a single folder.
Copy To… - Presents a directory selection dialog and then copies the selected files to the chosen directory.
Move To… - Presents a directory selection dialog and then moves the selected files to the chosen directory.
If you have any questions or suggestions about FileCutter, please send mail to email@example.com with, preferably, a subject line that includes the name "FileCutter."
Please Note: There is a bug in Finder's "columns" view - all versions through 10.4.9 (current as of this writing) - in which Finder will not correctly tell 3rd-party code what its active directory is when the frontmost window is in columns view and a single item is selected. I believe I have found a robust workaround for this situation, but I'd like to hear about it if it looks like I missed a condition.
FileCutter is shareware, although it's not compromised in any way. If you decide to keep it, please support the future development of this and other products by paying the licensing fee of $5.00 (US). Payments can be sent by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or by paper mail to:
Traditional Chinese localization by Jack Lin.
FileCutter doesn't use the global system clipboard to track its own data. As a result it doesn't really interact (postively or negatively) with the normal Finder Copy and Paste commands. It also doesn't destroy, or have its data destroyed by, edit operations from any other applications.
The heavy lifting in FileCutter is done by a background process which is launched when first needed. By default it will quit after it has been idle for 5 minutes. The amount of time needed to relaunch next time it's needed should be almost unnoticeable, but if you'd like you can change the timeout value. Open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal and enter
defaults write com.splook.FileCutterAgent AgentLifeSpan x
where x is the number of minutes you'd like it to hang around. If you never want the agent to exit, use zero.
If you'd like to remove FileCutter from your system, you should drag the FileCutterCM.plugin to the trash and then or log out and back in so it forgets about it and ensures that the agent is not running.
Finder is a trademark and Mac OS a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. While I've taken every precaution to guard against unintentional data loss, FileCutter has almost as much risk as any other use of the "Cut" command since 1984 (somewhat less because the actual cut is deferred until the paste takes place).